Three years ago I really had it going on with my web-site www.LiveInWestMi.com. I had leads coming in so fast I could hardly keep up--but I always tried to give people a few personal words whenever they used my web site in a search. I truly think every person has something incredible to give in friendship.
One such search came in and we hit it off immediately. I don't remember how it came about, but it came up that she had a horse. She was very excited about coming to America to live but very sad about having to leave her horse in England. His name was Fancy Man and her name was Yvonne. I immediately told her that I had a horse here in Allendale, MI and told her she was welcome to him any time! I then asked where they would be moving. She was unsure but knew they would probably be looking for a home in this area. I have worked as a relocation specialist for quite some time but this was all the way from the UK. Heck, I had to figure out how to dial over-seas--this country bumpkin had never done that!
We corresponded back and forth. I emailed her a pic of my horse and she emailed me one of her and her horse (pic to the left). We made plans for their first visit to America and when the day came we immediately hit it off. They were very adamant about being in a sub-division where Yvonne could make friends. Someday they would like to have a home with some land where Yvonne could have horses. But for right now, it was all about making new friends in America and getting her into a home that would make it easy for her to meet people.
We were having a great time and I enjoyed looking at homes with them. I'm not going to lie to you, sometimes I had a really hard time understanding them. And some of their words are really different. She asked me one time if our horses were afraid of the lorries? What in the heck is a a lorrie? I finally figured out she meant a truck and we laughed and laughed. I also started using the words, "well bloody hell". That's an engish term for our "what the hell" or maybe "for crying out loud".
It isn't the easiest thing in the world to move to America. It took them forever, I mean FOREVER, to get their visa to go through. They have lawyers involved and everything-- it is quite a process!!! I remember it like it was yesterday. They were visiting again and we were looking at houses and decided to stop in at a local restaurant for some lunch - The Yellow Jacket between Allendale, MI and Grand Haven, MI They like the smaller "pubs" as they call them. Just as we were about to walk in the door they got a phone call from their lawyer - their visa had come through. There some tears--some of joy and some bittersweet at the thought of leaving children and grand-children so far away.
On that same day we found a house they really liked. I liked it because they were going to be just a few miles from my house. But it was not to be. The owners were, shall we say, OFF THEIR ROCKER with price. Norman and Yvonne liked it so much but I just couldn't let them do it. It just wasn't worth that! I told them to walk away.
As far as finding a home, that trip was a bust. But I did get her up on a gaited horse for the first time in her life. She laughed and laughed, just like most people do when they ride a gaited horse for the first time. Also on this trip I introduced them to honey crisp apples. They are the best apples in the world but dang expensive!!
It ended up being very convenient that the cottage I manage for another client came up for long term winter rental. It worked out perfect that Norman and Yvonne got to rent The Lakeshore Cottage. Since it takes forever to get furniture shipped from the UK, it was wonderful that the cottage was fully furnished.
The next spring we found a perfect home for them in Holland Michigan. They loved the area of the cottage and liked being close to the beach. It is beautiful there. Since that time, Yvonne and I have become fast friends!! I have met her daugher and her grand child and someday I hope to make it to the UK with her.
((Upper right pic of Yvonne at the campground with us---lower right pic, me on the left and Yvonne on the right))
The video is of Yvonne and I riding last week. She fell off Joey in slow motion. She wasn't hurt to bad, just a few bruises and we laughed and laughed how it seemed like it happened in slow motion. You will have to listen to how she says my name. I love to hear her say it--she makes it sound . . . so . . .I don't know . . English.
Real estate is awesome - it brought me a wonderful person I call friend!!!